As BASIS International & Bilingual School Wuhan is gearing up to welcome its founding faculty and students, we are excited to see leadership, both old and new, bring their wealth of knowledge, personal style, and traditions to their departments, the school, and the BASIS International and Bilingual Schools network as a whole. One of which is Ms. Syndi Taylor, Founding Head of Primary and ECE.
Family, friends, cactus, and colorful sunsets surround her when Ms. Taylor is home in the desert city of Tucson, Arizona, USA, which is also the place where the first BASIS Curriculum School was established. Ms.Taylor’s professional journey includes many years as a classroom teacher in grades K–adult, curriculum design, teacher training, and school systems development. She was part of the founding faculty at BASIS International School Hangzhou as a Primary Humanities teacher. After year 1, she brought her experience to school leadership as Dean of ECE and Vice Head of the Early Years division.
“In Wuhan, I really look forward to developing a learning environment that is going to cultivate success, achievement, communication, and joy!”
Primary and ECE: Discovery and Foundation
Ms Taylor once said, as a BASIS teacher in Primary and ECE, their mission is to help students become lifelong learners and everything they do is driven by their desire to help students be the best that they can be. The teachers will focus on the whole child. During Primary and ECE, students are guided to develop their academic skills as well as cultivate social skills, develop their social skills, and develop an understanding of the importance of their individual responsibility to contribute to a better world. In the early years and primary classroom, we’re laying the foundation of how to be a good friend, how to handle disappointments and handle challenges, and how to be a lifelong learner.
The Synergy of SET and LET Facilitates Efficiency in Learning
In preschool and kindergarten, each classroom has an assigned Subject Expert Teacher Early Childhood Education (SET ECE), a Learning Enhancement Teacher Early Childhood Education (LET ECE), and a dedicated classroom assistant. The LET/SET team works together to guide students to master the foundations in traditional academic subjects, as well as enrichment courses that help them make connections between their classes.
The learning environment is carefully designed to encourage a child’s natural curiosity to create, discover, and ask questions. Teachers facilitate opportunities for children to interact with materials in a thoughtful manner and make connections to the world around them. We help students develop good learning skills and habits, so they will be prepared for what’s coming next.
Starting in Grade 1, for each subject, there will be a SET who specializes in that subject and teaches the students. Across all subjects, the synergy of the SET and LET facilitates a relatively rapid transition from instruction in foundational skills and knowledge to independent thinking and active learning.
Guided Play and Inquiry Experiences: To Learn is Fun
Ms. Taylor pointed out that the main teaching strategies in early years and lower primary are Guided Play and Inquiry Experiences, where teachers are trained to interact with students with real-life materials, with real-life experiences; drawing on a student’s prior knowledge and interests to make sure that the curriculum means something to them. We want all of our students to have access to and opportunity to explore our deep, rich, and rigorous curriculum in a way that makes sense to them.
When students play with blocks and use clay and paint and write with sand or their finger, our teachers will elevate those experiences, through focused and guided questioning and discovery, to address specific learning outcomes to ensure those experiences are meaningful learning experiences.
Our experience-based and inquiry-based classrooms are using what students are experiencing in life – their trips, their interests, and their activities. And we bring all of those into the classroom, help them to talk about it and listen to others, and eventually to read and write about their experiences and other people’s experiences. Through guided and rich questioning, teachers facilitate connections that help to enhance and deepen their understanding of our curriculum and their world.
School and Family: Close Partnerships in Early Years and Primary Education
Ms. Taylor believes that in education, schools and parents are close partners.
As mentioned above, all teachers work together and strive to help students learn in school. When students are at home, there are also many things that parents can do at home to further enhance learning.
To Ms. Taylor, the most important thing is to give children an environment of acceptance and appreciation for the hard work that they are doing. Each child is unique and has their own pace of study. Teachers and parents who work together ensure that children are successful so that they can face those challenges of school.
BASIS International & Bilingual Schools promote maximum depth of learning in the Early Years and Primary School by guiding and helping children to establish a balance between their natural abilities and curiosities, and their intentional academic learning. BASIS International & Bilingual School Wuhan will continue to uphold this intention and is committed to providing rigorous, high-quality learning experiences and opportunities for our young learners, laying an excellent foundation for their future academic and character development!
Head of Primary and ECE
BASIS International & Bilingual School Wuhan
Apply now to be considered for teaching opportunities beginning in the 2024 school year with BASIS International & Bilingual School Wuhan.
Join our Talent Community to be the first to know about new positions and insights.